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About the Project

Help Us Bring High-Speed Internet to Your Community

The need for broadband internet is greater now than ever before and your leaders are here to help. We are developing a plan that identifies the communities across the region without access to reliable and affordable internet.

The plan will outline and rank high-speed connectivity projects to close the digital divide. It will bring broadband to the communities that need it most to provide access to jobs, education, health care and new business.
The plan is critical to ensure we take advantage of opportunities for broadband grants and funding that are available now and new ones coming soon.

It will also lay the groundwork for the critical change needed to look at broadband as a required utility like water, electricity, and gas.

Milestone Schedule

Connectivity Improvement Plan

What is Broadband?

Broadband commonly refers to high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than the previous dial-up access. Broadband access is considered “always-on” as connection types like dial-up requires a telephone line to connect and is not always connected.

Fixed broadband transmits data through physical wires and cables and connects networks to the internet. Wireless broadband connects home or business devices via a short-range wireless connection, like Wi-Fi or mobile, to the internet.
Types of Internet

Understand Internet Speed

High-speed internet access is important because internet speed is the volume of information that can be transferred at a given time between the internet and your device. Everything that we do online requires an exchange of information whether it’s virtual webinars, streaming videos, social media, or online shopping.
Internet Speed Infographic

Why Does High-Speed Internet Matter?

The internet has become an integral part of our society. It connects us to information that is vital for every individual, business, and industry.

Access to information is why fast, reliable internet is important for our community. Most of us interact with the internet daily in some capacity, including for our health care, transportation, and even our homes.
Why Does Broadband Matter

Equal Access to the Internet

What is Digital Equity?

Digital Equity is a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy. Digital Equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services.

Why is Digital Equity Important?

With technology and the internet constantly evolving and becoming more integrated into our society, equal access to digital resources can eliminate gaps in our digital and social infrastructure which prevent people and communities from participating in society.

Some 15% of U.S. households with school-age children do not have a high-speed internet connection at home, according to a previously published Pew Research Center analysis of 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data.

School-age children in lower-income households are especially likely to lack broadband access. Roughly one-third (35%) of households with children ages six to 17 and an annual income below $30,000 a year do not have a high-speed internet connection at home, compared with just 6% of such households earning $75,000 or more a year. These broadband gaps are particularly pronounced in black and Hispanic households with school-age children – especially those with low incomes.

Rural and urban areas in our region are lacking access to high-speed internet and equipment that is fast and reliable which impacts the quality of life for our residents and communities.

  • Rural issues – high-speed broadband service is oftentimes unavailable.
  • Urban issues – affordability where low-income households cannot afford access.

  • The Connectivity Improvement Plan’s recommendations will equitably serve the region’s most vulnerable populations who are unserved or underserved by current connectivity.